A Skowhegan man who helped raise the woman who was shot dead this week in Madison along with two others says the man who killed them was abusive, echoing what some neighbors and a family member have said about the woman’s husband, Carroll Tuttle Jr.

Authorities said Tuttle shot and killed Lori Hayden, 52, of Russell Road at her home in Madison on Wednesday morning.

Tuttle, 51, also shot and killed the couple’s son, Dustin Tuttle, 25, and a neighbor, Mike Spaulding, 57, and shot and wounded a fourth person, Harvey Austin, 57. Tuttle was then shot and killed when he exchanged gunfire with police.

Neighbors and a family member said jealousy and domestic abuse fueled the shootings.

Ambrose “Tom” McCarthy, 73, helped raise Lori Hayden and her sister, Trisha, with their mother, Darla Pickett, starting in the late 1960s after their biological father was killed in a traffic accident.

McCarthy would not discuss details of the shootings, but had nothing good to say about Tuttle.

“I knew him,” he said. “I had no use for him. To me, he was abusive, and I had no use for abusive people in my life. I’ve seen the results of it.”

Austin, who is married to Lori’s sister, Trisha, is recovering after surgery to treat multiple gunshot wounds.

Lori was 3 and Trisha was 18 months old when they and Pickett moved in with McCarthy, he said.

“We lived together for 20 years,” McCarthy said Friday from the offices of his company, Central Maine Wreath and McCarthy Enterprises, on North Avenue in Skowhegan. “They were my girls – Lori was my girl. There was no doubt in anybody’s mind that she was known as Tom’s girl; we had that close a relationship.”

McCarthy said he also would baby-sit Harvey Austin when they lived in Norridgewock and Austin was 5 years old.

“We were neighbors. Harvey was my mother’s little pet,” he said. “Harvey could do no wrong by my mother.”

McCarthy bought a farm in 1974 on Hilton Hill in Skowhegan, where the girls grew up and where McCarthy still lives.

“I tried to be a dad to them; I hope I was,” he said. “I bought her her first truck. I bought Trisha her first car and taught her to change the brakes on it. And their horses and their four-wheelers and their snowmobiles, pickup trucks and mini-bikes. They’re still mine; it’s just that I have only one left.”

McCarthy said the girls worked at his business, which included a bottle redemption center, from the time they were 12 or 13 years old and continued into the early 1990s. They both graduated from Skowhegan Area High School. He said they remained close.

“I’d never see (Lori) when I didn’t get a big hug from her,” he said. “I miss her.”

McCarthy described Hayden as a kind woman with a big heart.

“She was a soft-hearted, deep-thinking, very, very kind person,” he said. “They were very hard workers, very bright girls, both of them. Their mother was a hard worker. I tried to be a hard worker and that instilled it in them, and they were hard workers.”

Hayden’s son, Dustin Tuttle, was a “good kid,” McCarthy said. He said he didn’t have a lot of contact with Dustin but remembers him as someone with a big smile who had his mother’s work ethic.

“She raised him right,” he said.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office was scheduled to conduct autopsies on the victims Thursday and on Tuttle on Friday. The office did not immediately return a message Friday seeking results.

Darla Pickett is now a Skowhegan selectwoman and a former Morning Sentinel reporter. Trisha Austin is Skowhegan’s finance and human resources director.

McCarthy said he will be at the funerals and remains in contact with Pickett and Trisha Austin.

“You hold on to the ones you got,” he said. “You can only hold on to what you have. You can’t hold on to what you lose. You can be thankful that you were part of their life.”

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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